SD Symphony Names Jennifer Teisinger Executive Director
The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) announces the appointment of Jennifer Teisinger as Executive Director. Teisinger's career spans more than 20 years of executive leadership in the performing arts. She most recently served as Executive Director of Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Vail, Colorado. For nine years previously, Teisinger served as Executive Director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho, and she also served as executive director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Washington. Early in her career, she was manager of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.
"What Jennifer brings to the table is experience in key areas that will ensure the organization's continued success: fundraising, artistic planning, and strong communication," said Scott Lawrence, SDSO Board President and CEO of Lawrence & Schiller. "As we approach our 100th anniversary and look beyond this monumental triumph, a proven leader with success in financial management and audience development is instrumental in the stability of the South Dakota Symphony. Jennifer brings all this to the table and more, and we couldn't be more excited to have her aboard."
Described as a top-notch administrator who is 'cool under pressure,' and recognized for her work ethic of unwavering dedication and integrity, Teisinger is a natural strategic planner and problem solver, an enthusiastic fundraiser, and an experienced leader who knows how to bring out the best in her staff and at the same time inspire board members individually and as a group.
"I am so excited to be a part of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra! I was initially drawn to this great organization because of Music Director Delta David Gier's adventurous programming as well as the important work the Symphony does through its community engagement programs, like the Lakota Music Project. Once I met the dedicated and talented people behind the SDSO - the board and the staff - I was hooked. The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra is an organization that leads with education and outreach, and I am excited to partner with David Gier to lead an institution that thinks that way," stated Jennifer Teisinger.
Teisinger will start as Executive Director February 19, 2019. Her immediate plan will be to strengthen community relationships with new partnerships and existing ones, as well as provide continued stability and financial sustainability. She will also lead the organization through its centennial in 2022. Veteran arts administrator David J. Hyslop has served as interim Executive Director since August, and will continue in the role to assist Teisinger in the leadership transition.
"Jennifer Teisinger brings a wealth of experience to the SDSO which will help us continue to fulfill our mission, expand our reach, and increase our impact," said Delta David Gier, who has served as the SDSO's Music Director since 2004. "She understands and resonates with our commitment to serving our community, state, and region. Our musicians, board, and staff are very enthusiastic about what we can do together and are proud to have her on board."
The SDSO's search committee was led by James Moore, Executive Committee board member and attorney at Woods, Fuller, Shultz and Smith. The national search was managed by the Catherine French Group of Washington D.C., which specializes in recruiting executive and artistic leadership for American symphony orchestras and other not-for-profit music organizations. "The search committee set high standards and had high expectations for our next Executive Director," says Moore. "Jennifer Teisinger met or exceeded them all. Her preparation, thoughtfulness, and ability to listen will impress everyone."
Jennifer Teisinger has a bachelor's degree in music from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a master's degree in music from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music in Houston, both in oboe performance. She has served on the youth orchestra division board of the League of American Orchestras as well as on the boards of the San Jose Youth Symphony and the Pioneer Montessori School in Ketchum, Idaho. She and her husband, Chris Gripkey, are the parents of two daughters who both enjoy dancing, which has prompted Teisinger to volunteer as a fundraising strategist for two dance studios in Colorado. Teisinger enjoys an active lifestyle including hiking and Nordic skiing with her husband, reading historical fiction and biographies, and is always on the lookout for a new vegan recipe.
About the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra
The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a vibrant and growing community serving a 125-mile region that touches five states. Known for innovative programming and statewide outreach, the SDSO has a strong heritage upon which to build an even stronger future. The SDSO was the 2016 winner of the Bush Prize for Community Innovation.
The Bush Prize for Community Innovation, which is given by the St. Paul, Minnesota based Bush Foundation, recognizes organizations for their innovative work in community engagement. In addition, the SDSO was selected as one of five orchestras in the country to participate in a three-year composer residency through New Music USA, which brings renowned composer and educator Theodore Wiprud to the SDSO through June 2019. The SDSO is the region's premiere performing arts organization with the Washington Pavilion as its home. Artistically, the SDSO is led by Maestro Delta David Gier, who has guided the orchestra to new musical heights.
The core of the SDSO is comprised of nine full-time professional musicians that make up the Dakota String Quartet and the Dakota Wind Quintet. Musically, SDSO performs well above its $2.3 million budget.